APEC Economic Leaders' Week 2013 opens in Bali

By ( Xinhua )

Updated: 2013-10-02

JAKARTA - As the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Week and related meetings kicked off on Tuesday, leaders and ministers from 21 Pacific-Rim economies will commence discussions with the focus on strengthening free trade and investment in the region, a senior organizer official said on Wednesday.

The discussions will commence shortly after the conclusion of an APEC Senior Officials meeting on Wednesday in the APEC venue located in Nusa Dua, Bali.

Discussions carried out by leaders and ministers will be aimed at revitalizing trade to keep the global economy on a path to recovery, create jobs and move the region towards more balanced and sustainable long-term growth. The revitalization of trade can be achieved by addressing growing inequities, environmental challenges and improving connectivity to facilitate cross-border movement of goods, personnel and capital to drive greater productivity.

"APEC member economies are united in our commitment to building a resilient Asia-Pacific as an engine of growth and taking practical steps to support the realization of this objectives," Ambassador Yuri Thamrin, the lead APEC senior official who has guided work undertaken within APEC during the course of Indonesia' s 2013 chairmanship, said in a statement.

"Leaders and ministers will have an opportunity to assess our efforts to lower barriers and further our pursuit of the Bogor Goals for free trade and investment in the region by 2020," Yuri added.

He said while still addressing the complex behind-the-door issues, commitments they make this week will guide APEC economies in developing policies that help small businesses enter into global supply chains, and pursuing measures to ensure that proper infrastructure is in place for businesses and people to benefit from increasing integration.

Leaders were scheduled to come together on Oct. 7-8 for two retreats to discuss policy. They will also engage with heads of industry and consider their recommendations for improving the business environment in the region through a constructive two-way dialogue.

Ministers were scheduled to meet on Oct. 4-5 to examine the actions and insights that have sprung from APEC deliberations, projects and economic and technical collaboration between economies, ministries, the private sector and partner regional and global institutions.

Executive Director of the APEC Secretariat Dr. Alan Bollard said the APEC region has been impacted by continued uncertainty as economies recover from the global financial crisis and confront shifts in the stimulus polices that were put in place to address it.

"This week's meetings can help to breathe renewed confidence in the global economy by laying the groundwork for increased trade and investment, and domestic consumption," Dr. Bollard said.

Dr. Bollard was scheduled to discuss the latest economic trends and put APEC's agenda in greater context on Thursday.

"Identifying processes for bridging unfolding regional agreements and improving the chances for a positive outcome during the 9th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference in Bali in December are components of APEC's agenda," he added.

The APEC region is home to about three billion people, and accounts for 45 percent of global trade and half of total gross domestic product.


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